Letter to the Editor: Brunell Off Base on Pumped Storage Electricity

Posted

I read Don Brunell’s column in which he wrote about the virtues of “pumped storage electricity,” saying it could benefit many people and pointing out that the key benefits of a proposed pumped storage project near Goldendale are that it is an innovative way to produce electric power and would be environmentally friendly because the water used would be recycled. However, his column did not mention that pumped storage electricity has drawbacks.

I’ve known Don Brunell for many years and I respect him. However, I disagree with him on this issue. While this concept is well-intentioned, consumers need to be aware that you can’t generate electric power twice but sell it only once. It could be a boondoggle.

Consumers are being misled. They need to know what this really costs. If this is what people really want, it will cost them much more money to make it work. Instead, I think it would be better to look out for the financial well-being of ratepayers.

Some people who are interested in this proposed power project support it because of the jobs — and electric power — it would create. Like many alternative energy projects, the jobs that are created arrive during the construction phase of the project. But when construction is completed, there really are not that many jobs afterward.

With Washington’s population and economy continuing to grow, our state will continue to need to generate more electric power. We should stop discussion by environmentalists to breach the four lower Snake River dams, which not only provide needed power but also transportation, irrigation and recreation.

But I oppose this proposed pump storage electricity project because I don’t see how it is in the best interest of ratepayers.

 

Mark Schoesler

9th District state senator

R-Ritzville